How to Clean Blinds

Window blinds held by hand with cotton glove for cleaning

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to clean your blinds? Forgo the special cleaning tools and use this cheap trick instead. Yes, you could buy a lambswool duster, but that is one more cleaning tool you'll need to store and clean after use. Instead, this cleaning hack uses items you have already in your closet and pantry—socks and vinegar.

You can use vinegar to clean blinds throughout your house, but it is especially useful in the kitchen where you may have grease buildup or greasy fingerprints on the blinds. Vinegar is an excellent, inexpensive way to clean away grease.

This damp method of cleaning will keep you from sending the dust from the blinds around your room. You also won't be spraying anything into the air.


  • White vinegar: While cider vinegar would also work, it may leave pigments behind.
  • An old sock or glove: If you have athletic socks made of acrylic or polyester, those are made with the microfiber often recommended for cleaning. But well-worn cotton socks or gloves will also work.
Old glove and white socks next to glass bowl with white vinegar materials

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo


  1. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into a bowl. You can use it undiluted, or you can dilute it one to one with water.
  2. Place the old sock or glove on your hand, and dip the tip (or fingers) into the bowl of vinegar. Squeeze out any excess.
  3. Run your fingers along both sides of the first slat to remove dust.
  4. For mini-blinds, wear gloves and see if you can clean more than one slat at a time through each finger. The spacing may not work for every size of hand and fingers, but if it does, you can save some time.
  5. Repeat on the remaining slats, stopping periodically to rinse the dust off of the sock or glove and to apply more vinegar. It's fine to run the glove under a water faucet; you won't significantly dilute the vinegar when you dip it into the bowl of vinegar.
  6. If you worry that vinegar may irritate your fingers, you could wear a rubber glove on your hand and then put the sock or glove over it.
White vinegar poured from measuring cup into white bowl on wooden surface

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Old sock dipped in glass bowl with white vinegar

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Hand with old glove passing over window blinds to clean

The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Benefits of Cleaning With Vinegar

  • Dust adheres to the sock or glove rather than being released into the air. Some types of plastic blinds were found to degrade and produce chemicals you don't want wafting around your room.
  • Vinegar is very inexpensive.
  • You aren't using any harsh chemicals and vinegar is safe for most surfaces, including wood, plastic, and metal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid over saturating wood blinds—damp is fine, but wet isn't.
  • Consult the owner's manual that came with your blinds to see if there are any special care instructions.
  • As with any cleaner, you should avoid all contact with the eyes and prolonged contact with the skin. Wear rubber gloves under the cleaning sock or gloves if you are concerned with skin contact.
  • Keep vinegar out of the reach of children.